The Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services (ACES)

ACES is a Scottish registered charity set up with the aim of conserving coastal habitats in tropical regions while working towards alleviating poverty around such habitats. The mechanism for achieving this is through the use of payments for ecosystem services, primarily carbon based credit schemes.

Its first pioneering project, a community based payment-for-ecosystem services conservation project called Mikoko Pamoja, was set up by the communities of Gazi and Macongeni to conserve their nearby mangrove forests.

In doing so, the carbon that has been stored as a result of these forests not being cut down, has meant that the communities are able to benefit from the sale of carbon credits, issued by the Plan Vivo Foundation, a third party, independent non-profit organisation also based in Scotland.

The money earned from these credits to date, has funded communal community development projects such as supplying new roofing materials for Gazi primary school and by paying for new books for the school of Macongeni Village.

Through research and education, ACES has assisted in building capacity for the project, in order to ensure its long-term persistence. ACES and its supporting European and African research partners and not-for-profit organisations view Mikoko Pamoja as a model example for a successful payments-for-ecosystems services project in East Africa – the first of its kind with a focus of mangrove conservation and poverty alleviation.

We aim to support the geographical expansion of projects like Mikoko Pamoja, with partners and private individuals who wish to contribute to making a difference for people living in developing country regions, where the dependency on local natural habitats is particularly great. Please get in touch with us if you think you can help us achieve this goal.